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Pan-African landscape restoration program
To demonstrate that large scale landscape restoration can restore the water cycle and create
a hydrologic corridor for climate resilience & adaptation.
1. Introduction
Restoring degraded land and preserving rainwater is fundamental to creating a green and livable
habitat.
Our proposal is focused on the African continent, where the potential to restore ecosystems is huge
and the need to act now extremely high.
In this concept note, we introduce this systematic approach to harvesting rainwater and bringing
vegetation back. This innovative pan African initiative aims at demonstrating that large-scale
landscape restoration, in scientifically chosen locations can contribute to restoring the local and
regional water cycle and provide the needed climate resilience. We call it the Hydrologic Corridor.
2. Objectives
The pan- African land restoration program is a climate mitigation (decarbonization and cooling
through soil and vegetation) and adaptation program (rainwater harvesting, sustainable agriculture,
soil regeneration, agro-forestry) with regional implementation, positive social and economic impacts
for the local populations.
The strategic goals of the program are:
• Mitigate and adapt to climate change through large scale re-greening of degraded land, using
rainwater harvesting, reforestation and sustainable agriculture.
• Improve livelihoods of millions of people by bringing back biodiversity and vegetation in semi-arid
environments as a foundation for prosperity.
• Create a global green movement for positive climate action.
• Co-develop innovative finance solutions to build continuity of our ecosystem services through
economic valuation.
The objectives of the program are:
• A minimum of 10 African countries officially join the program at the COP 22.
• Every participating country will restore 30,000 ha of degraded land by 2020.
• The Justdiggit social movement to reach 1 Billion people to inspire them to take action for global
cooling.
• We mobilize at least 1M EUR per participating country to co-fund the first pilot project
• Each participating country co-submits a grant request to international climate funds to scale the
pilot project.
3. Technical solution
Restoring the small water cycle
We restore soil and vegetation, utilizing rainwater harvesting, reforestation and conservation
methods. At our scale, once vegetation comes back, it starts to evaporate moisture, create
atmospheric cooling, clouds and local rains. This is called the small water cycle. When these small
water cycles interact with incoming clouds from the oceans, extreme weather is tempered and rain
more evenly distributed. This system approach enables us to rehabilitate small water cycles on
strategic project locations in a specific region. These locations are scientifically chosen to form a
Hydrologic Corridor impacting the regional climate to create more evenly distributed rain.
In summary, we kick-start the restoration and impact the regional climate over thousands of square
kilometers.
Figure 1: The hydrological cycles
Intervention techniques
Restoration of ecological systems starts with water. Most degraded regions still receive enough
rainfall to restore the original ecosystem – but the rains are so concentrated that the bare and hard
soil does not retaining enough water causing excess runoff, erosion and flooding.
Using ancient and proven intervention methods, this water can be captured and brought sub-surface
to improve the soil moisture and store it for later use. Combined with innovations in the field of
sensoring, data modeling and visualization, organic soil enrichments, etc. this water breaks the
ecosystem’s cycle of decay through improved soil conditions and the return of vegetation – which
lead to more crops, grazing lands, fodder, shadow, biodiversity and an even further increased water
retention capacity. There are many of these water harvesting techniques available on different
scales, such as contour buns, terraces, trenches and dams. Other helpful soil moisture interventions
include, permaculture, agroforestry, temporary fencing to prevent over grazing, re-planting, re-
seeding and soil and water conservation. All these techniques increase soil moisture and plant
growth. Depending on local conditions (gradient, soil type, amount of rainfall, etc.) and culture
(farmers or pastoralist) we select the most suitable techniques with the input from local
communities.
Figure 2: landscape restoration results in Tigray (Ethiopia)
Besides direct and local benefits from the techniques listed above, halting the process of
desertification in specific regions also has more large-scale and long-term effects. Regional climate
impacts and resulting clouds are transported to adjacent regions and have a cooling effect.
4. Program methodology
Eligibility
Justdiggit has identified the countries in Africa suitable to develop this restoration approach. The
assessment is based on various scientific maps (hydrology, terrain, wind patterns, rainfall, vegetation
cover, etc.). Please find below the map of eligible countries in Africa:
Phase 1: Demonstration project (reference: Rehamna project): 18 months
In each participating country, we start with a demonstration project to show that using relatively
simple interventions degraded land can be re-greened. This demonstration project is a full scale
(3,500 ha) project, part of a larger Hydrologic Corridor program at national level.
In the demonstration, we apply various types of interventions in different landscapes zones (hills,
valley, etc.), allowing us to compare and optimize the various interventions, develop and try out
business cases and demonstrate that re-greening is possible on a large scale in different
environments.
Every demonstration project has 5 tracks:
Figure 3: Justdiggit project tracks
1. Social: we start every project with a social mapping to determine land ownership, social
network, past experiences, existing initiatives, etc. We only start the project after we have
full buy in and support from the local community (mostly farmers).
2. Technical: we propose a number of proven techniques and co-create the interventions
jointly with the local community.
3. Campaign: every project is content for our global Justdiggit campaigning. We inspire the
world to pick up the (digital) shovel and start the biggest green movement ever. The
inspiration will come from the projects and people involved. We build these campaigns
through our international network of media partners, mostly pro bono.
4. Financial: we take responsibility to build the consortium of local partners, raise maximum
50% of the required funding for the pilot projects, build a budget proposal and manage the
expenses according to budget and timelines.
5. Scientific: from the start, a local university and the Wageningen university collaborate on the
project. We determine the optimal locations for the project areas and interventions (based
on GIS data analysis, climate models and field knowledge), monitor and evaluate the impact
of the interventions on the ground (vegetation, environmental, socio-economics, water, etc.)
and monitor the effects of the Hydrological Corridor on the climate (temperature, humidity,
rainfall).
Phase 2: Scaling up: 5-10 years
Based on the experiences gained from the demonstration project, backed by the scientific partners
the full scaling-up will be planned and implemented. The target area is determined in phase 1, the
exact locations and interventions are developed in phase 2. In total 10 project areas will be re-
greened with a total of 30,000 ha of land restored in each country. The climate effect will impact a
much larger area, approximately 2,000,000 ha per participating country.
The program could be managed in collaboration with the Competence Center for Climate Change
Mitigation and Adaptation (4C) in Marrakesh to include science, finance and field expertise from all
participating countries.
5. Impact metrics
For each project, we partner with the University of Wageningen and the local universities to measure
the following impacts:
1. Climate
i. rainfall
ii. temperature
iii. carbon sequestration
2. Water
i. water balance
ii. aquifer recharge rate
3. Biodiversity
i. vegetation cover
ii. vegetation health
iii. species richness
4. Agriculture
i. yield
ii. harvest fail rate
iii. external input costs
5. Economy
income
employment
A more detailed bankable and non-bankable benefits overview can be found in our white
paper “ Benefits of landscape Restoration with a focus on African drylands biomes “.
6. Financing, governance & handover
Justdiggit is a jumpstarter consortium. We initiate the development of large scale landscape
restoration programs which scale through national programs and international climate funds. These
funds are focused on replicable, scalable projects with local impact.
Every program starts with 1 full size project which we co-fund for maximum 50%. We seek funders in
the private sector, philanthropy, consumers and other NGO’s. The budget for a first project ranges
from 2-3M USD.
If 10 countries join the program, we co-fund maximum 20-25M EUR in total. This is the amount we
seek gatefunders for.
Once a project is funded and in execution, we scale up at the national level through grants requests
to international funds. These funds are governed by stringent policies and governance. One of our
consortium partners (Aqua for All), is our contract management partner and operates in accordance
with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That way, we can guarantee transparency, accountability
and governance at international standards.
Figure 4: Financing of the scaling-up
Figure 5: partner contributions to the demonstration project in Morocco
7. Committed partners
The Justdiggit consortium consists of the following strategic partners:
- Naga Foundation: contracting partner for the consortium, fundraiser, project development,
marketing & awareness.
- IUCN: largest conservation organization in the world. Responsible for Public Private
Partnerships and business case development of our projects.
- University of Wageningen/Alterra: world class university on climate water, soil, climate and
sustainable agriculture. Responsible for scientific design, monitoring, validation and
publications.
- Aqua for All: http://aquaforall.org/ non profit responsible for governance and contract
management. Provides gatefunding from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop new
country programs.
- WeForest: Forestry partner responsible for technical and scientific support and fundraising
for the forestry section of our projects.
In every program, we partner with local organizations.
For Morocco, our committed partners are:
- Ministry of Environment/OREDD
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Ministry of Water, Forests and Mines
- Region of Marrakesh-Safi
- Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakesh
For Tanzania, we have commitments from 2 key partners:
- 2030 Water Resource Group: http://www.2030wrg.org/
- SNV: http://www.snv.org/
Cost overview and breakdown
Corridor Research (15 projects) Total Justdiggit Ministry of
environment
Marrakesh Tensift
Region
Ministry of
Agriculture
Min. of water,
forests &
mines
Identification corridor 25.000€ 25.000€
Long-term monitoring evaluation climate effect 15.000€ 15.000€
Total 40.000€
Demonstration project cost
Non-local research and monitoring 65.000€ 65.000€
Local research and monitoring 50.000€ 50.000€
Community participation 50.000€ 50.000€
Gender Income Generating Activities 200.000€ 200.000€
Interventions (see below for details) 1.563.954€ 100.038€ -€ 264.648€ 1.009.487€ 189.781€
Local project management (planning, surveying and supervision) 8% 125.116€ 125.116€
Project coordinator local (12d/m, 10 months) 30.000€ 30.000€
Program management Netherlands (2.5 fte, 10 months) 70.000€ 70.000€
Justdiggit representative Morocco (FT, 12 months) 42.000€ 42.000€
Visits and supervision 10.000€ 10.000€
Unforeseen 10% 224.607€ 53.215€ 5.000€ 46.465€ 100.949€ 18.978€
Total 2.470.677€ 585.370€ 55.000€ 511.112€ 1.110.436€ 208.759€
24% 2% 21% 45% 8%
8. Timelines
We have a few important milestones in the coming months:
June 23rd: introduced the pan African program during the 1st Global Forum Alliances and
Coalitions organized by the COP 22 champion Hakima El Haite. Follow up with Mr Seyni Nefo
(heads up African Group for the negotiations) and Minister Hakima el Haite to onboard 10
African countries by the end of the summer.
July 11-15 th 2016: Keynote presentation at the UNFCCC NAP Expo. Many African countries will be
represented at this yearly climate adaptation summit organized in Bonn.
August 15th
-19th
: African Drought conference: http://www.unccd.int/en/media-
center/MediaNews/Pages/highlightdetail.aspx?HighlightID=445
September 21st
-22nd
: South multinationals conference in partnership with the WBCSD in Rabat.
November 7-18th
: launch of Justdiggit global campaign and pan African program during the Climate
summit, including own event, speaking slot and intervention site visit for delegates.

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Concept note: Pan-African landscape restoration program

  • 1. Pan-African landscape restoration program To demonstrate that large scale landscape restoration can restore the water cycle and create a hydrologic corridor for climate resilience & adaptation. 1. Introduction Restoring degraded land and preserving rainwater is fundamental to creating a green and livable habitat. Our proposal is focused on the African continent, where the potential to restore ecosystems is huge and the need to act now extremely high. In this concept note, we introduce this systematic approach to harvesting rainwater and bringing vegetation back. This innovative pan African initiative aims at demonstrating that large-scale landscape restoration, in scientifically chosen locations can contribute to restoring the local and regional water cycle and provide the needed climate resilience. We call it the Hydrologic Corridor. 2. Objectives The pan- African land restoration program is a climate mitigation (decarbonization and cooling through soil and vegetation) and adaptation program (rainwater harvesting, sustainable agriculture, soil regeneration, agro-forestry) with regional implementation, positive social and economic impacts for the local populations. The strategic goals of the program are: • Mitigate and adapt to climate change through large scale re-greening of degraded land, using rainwater harvesting, reforestation and sustainable agriculture. • Improve livelihoods of millions of people by bringing back biodiversity and vegetation in semi-arid environments as a foundation for prosperity. • Create a global green movement for positive climate action. • Co-develop innovative finance solutions to build continuity of our ecosystem services through economic valuation. The objectives of the program are: • A minimum of 10 African countries officially join the program at the COP 22. • Every participating country will restore 30,000 ha of degraded land by 2020. • The Justdiggit social movement to reach 1 Billion people to inspire them to take action for global cooling.
  • 2. • We mobilize at least 1M EUR per participating country to co-fund the first pilot project • Each participating country co-submits a grant request to international climate funds to scale the pilot project. 3. Technical solution Restoring the small water cycle We restore soil and vegetation, utilizing rainwater harvesting, reforestation and conservation methods. At our scale, once vegetation comes back, it starts to evaporate moisture, create atmospheric cooling, clouds and local rains. This is called the small water cycle. When these small water cycles interact with incoming clouds from the oceans, extreme weather is tempered and rain more evenly distributed. This system approach enables us to rehabilitate small water cycles on strategic project locations in a specific region. These locations are scientifically chosen to form a Hydrologic Corridor impacting the regional climate to create more evenly distributed rain. In summary, we kick-start the restoration and impact the regional climate over thousands of square kilometers. Figure 1: The hydrological cycles Intervention techniques Restoration of ecological systems starts with water. Most degraded regions still receive enough rainfall to restore the original ecosystem – but the rains are so concentrated that the bare and hard soil does not retaining enough water causing excess runoff, erosion and flooding. Using ancient and proven intervention methods, this water can be captured and brought sub-surface to improve the soil moisture and store it for later use. Combined with innovations in the field of sensoring, data modeling and visualization, organic soil enrichments, etc. this water breaks the ecosystem’s cycle of decay through improved soil conditions and the return of vegetation – which lead to more crops, grazing lands, fodder, shadow, biodiversity and an even further increased water
  • 3. retention capacity. There are many of these water harvesting techniques available on different scales, such as contour buns, terraces, trenches and dams. Other helpful soil moisture interventions include, permaculture, agroforestry, temporary fencing to prevent over grazing, re-planting, re- seeding and soil and water conservation. All these techniques increase soil moisture and plant growth. Depending on local conditions (gradient, soil type, amount of rainfall, etc.) and culture (farmers or pastoralist) we select the most suitable techniques with the input from local communities. Figure 2: landscape restoration results in Tigray (Ethiopia) Besides direct and local benefits from the techniques listed above, halting the process of desertification in specific regions also has more large-scale and long-term effects. Regional climate impacts and resulting clouds are transported to adjacent regions and have a cooling effect. 4. Program methodology Eligibility Justdiggit has identified the countries in Africa suitable to develop this restoration approach. The assessment is based on various scientific maps (hydrology, terrain, wind patterns, rainfall, vegetation cover, etc.). Please find below the map of eligible countries in Africa:
  • 4.
  • 5. Phase 1: Demonstration project (reference: Rehamna project): 18 months In each participating country, we start with a demonstration project to show that using relatively simple interventions degraded land can be re-greened. This demonstration project is a full scale (3,500 ha) project, part of a larger Hydrologic Corridor program at national level. In the demonstration, we apply various types of interventions in different landscapes zones (hills, valley, etc.), allowing us to compare and optimize the various interventions, develop and try out business cases and demonstrate that re-greening is possible on a large scale in different environments. Every demonstration project has 5 tracks: Figure 3: Justdiggit project tracks 1. Social: we start every project with a social mapping to determine land ownership, social network, past experiences, existing initiatives, etc. We only start the project after we have full buy in and support from the local community (mostly farmers). 2. Technical: we propose a number of proven techniques and co-create the interventions jointly with the local community. 3. Campaign: every project is content for our global Justdiggit campaigning. We inspire the world to pick up the (digital) shovel and start the biggest green movement ever. The inspiration will come from the projects and people involved. We build these campaigns through our international network of media partners, mostly pro bono. 4. Financial: we take responsibility to build the consortium of local partners, raise maximum 50% of the required funding for the pilot projects, build a budget proposal and manage the expenses according to budget and timelines.
  • 6. 5. Scientific: from the start, a local university and the Wageningen university collaborate on the project. We determine the optimal locations for the project areas and interventions (based on GIS data analysis, climate models and field knowledge), monitor and evaluate the impact of the interventions on the ground (vegetation, environmental, socio-economics, water, etc.) and monitor the effects of the Hydrological Corridor on the climate (temperature, humidity, rainfall). Phase 2: Scaling up: 5-10 years Based on the experiences gained from the demonstration project, backed by the scientific partners the full scaling-up will be planned and implemented. The target area is determined in phase 1, the exact locations and interventions are developed in phase 2. In total 10 project areas will be re- greened with a total of 30,000 ha of land restored in each country. The climate effect will impact a much larger area, approximately 2,000,000 ha per participating country. The program could be managed in collaboration with the Competence Center for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (4C) in Marrakesh to include science, finance and field expertise from all participating countries. 5. Impact metrics For each project, we partner with the University of Wageningen and the local universities to measure the following impacts: 1. Climate i. rainfall ii. temperature iii. carbon sequestration 2. Water i. water balance ii. aquifer recharge rate 3. Biodiversity i. vegetation cover ii. vegetation health iii. species richness 4. Agriculture i. yield ii. harvest fail rate iii. external input costs 5. Economy income employment A more detailed bankable and non-bankable benefits overview can be found in our white paper “ Benefits of landscape Restoration with a focus on African drylands biomes “.
  • 7. 6. Financing, governance & handover Justdiggit is a jumpstarter consortium. We initiate the development of large scale landscape restoration programs which scale through national programs and international climate funds. These funds are focused on replicable, scalable projects with local impact. Every program starts with 1 full size project which we co-fund for maximum 50%. We seek funders in the private sector, philanthropy, consumers and other NGO’s. The budget for a first project ranges from 2-3M USD. If 10 countries join the program, we co-fund maximum 20-25M EUR in total. This is the amount we seek gatefunders for. Once a project is funded and in execution, we scale up at the national level through grants requests to international funds. These funds are governed by stringent policies and governance. One of our consortium partners (Aqua for All), is our contract management partner and operates in accordance with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That way, we can guarantee transparency, accountability and governance at international standards. Figure 4: Financing of the scaling-up
  • 8. Figure 5: partner contributions to the demonstration project in Morocco 7. Committed partners The Justdiggit consortium consists of the following strategic partners: - Naga Foundation: contracting partner for the consortium, fundraiser, project development, marketing & awareness. - IUCN: largest conservation organization in the world. Responsible for Public Private Partnerships and business case development of our projects. - University of Wageningen/Alterra: world class university on climate water, soil, climate and sustainable agriculture. Responsible for scientific design, monitoring, validation and publications. - Aqua for All: http://aquaforall.org/ non profit responsible for governance and contract management. Provides gatefunding from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop new country programs. - WeForest: Forestry partner responsible for technical and scientific support and fundraising for the forestry section of our projects. In every program, we partner with local organizations. For Morocco, our committed partners are: - Ministry of Environment/OREDD - Ministry of Agriculture - Ministry of Water, Forests and Mines - Region of Marrakesh-Safi - Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakesh For Tanzania, we have commitments from 2 key partners: - 2030 Water Resource Group: http://www.2030wrg.org/ - SNV: http://www.snv.org/ Cost overview and breakdown Corridor Research (15 projects) Total Justdiggit Ministry of environment Marrakesh Tensift Region Ministry of Agriculture Min. of water, forests & mines Identification corridor 25.000€ 25.000€ Long-term monitoring evaluation climate effect 15.000€ 15.000€ Total 40.000€ Demonstration project cost Non-local research and monitoring 65.000€ 65.000€ Local research and monitoring 50.000€ 50.000€ Community participation 50.000€ 50.000€ Gender Income Generating Activities 200.000€ 200.000€ Interventions (see below for details) 1.563.954€ 100.038€ -€ 264.648€ 1.009.487€ 189.781€ Local project management (planning, surveying and supervision) 8% 125.116€ 125.116€ Project coordinator local (12d/m, 10 months) 30.000€ 30.000€ Program management Netherlands (2.5 fte, 10 months) 70.000€ 70.000€ Justdiggit representative Morocco (FT, 12 months) 42.000€ 42.000€ Visits and supervision 10.000€ 10.000€ Unforeseen 10% 224.607€ 53.215€ 5.000€ 46.465€ 100.949€ 18.978€ Total 2.470.677€ 585.370€ 55.000€ 511.112€ 1.110.436€ 208.759€ 24% 2% 21% 45% 8%
  • 9. 8. Timelines We have a few important milestones in the coming months: June 23rd: introduced the pan African program during the 1st Global Forum Alliances and Coalitions organized by the COP 22 champion Hakima El Haite. Follow up with Mr Seyni Nefo (heads up African Group for the negotiations) and Minister Hakima el Haite to onboard 10 African countries by the end of the summer. July 11-15 th 2016: Keynote presentation at the UNFCCC NAP Expo. Many African countries will be represented at this yearly climate adaptation summit organized in Bonn. August 15th -19th : African Drought conference: http://www.unccd.int/en/media- center/MediaNews/Pages/highlightdetail.aspx?HighlightID=445 September 21st -22nd : South multinationals conference in partnership with the WBCSD in Rabat. November 7-18th : launch of Justdiggit global campaign and pan African program during the Climate summit, including own event, speaking slot and intervention site visit for delegates.